Shakespeare Factory Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash? Who’s Afraid of a Little Rain!

The Shakespeare Factory Players Ian Blackwell and Jess Behar

Well’ As the old saying goes, “You can plan a camping trip, but ch’a can’t plan the weather”. Was it raining at 1pm? Yep. But there’s another quote that I always liked, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” So the wife and I packed up the umbrellas, and I put on my old boots, and off we trudged in the damp gray afternoon to Baltimore for The Shakespeare Factory’s Shakespeare Birthday Bash.

We got there just after 1pm to find a tent put up and the Factory Players inside laughing, joking, and taking the rain in stride. Soon after that the Shakespeare anecdotes, discussions and stories were in full bloom as we waited for the Rain to slow down. Finally the clouds parted, and we found ourselves outside listening to live music (with a brief talk on the history of music),  a sonnet reading that my wife found wonderful, and the amazing sense of pleasure you get when surrounded by people who enjoy something just as much as you do.

Everyone of the Shakespeare Factory Players who were there made us feel completely welcome. It felt more like a family gathering then a “Meet and Greet”. You could tell everyone of the Factory Players who were there, wanted to be there, so they could enjoy each others company and friendship. And what was unique about this gathering, is you could tell they wanted to pass on that sense of joy to us.

Keep an eye on thier web site for dates and times of their next production of As You Like it!

Link: The Shakespeare Factory

Don’t take local Shakespeare in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia for granted!

April 23rd The Shakespeare Factory Presents: Shakespeare’s Baltimore Birthday Bash!

Update 04/19: Got an update for the  Times and Location for the Meetup.com gathering.
Time: 1:30
Location: They will have a “designated performance area” set up with a sandwich board sign that says “The Globe”. We’ll meet there.

Something Special: She also said there will be a special little presentation for the Meetup group at 1:30 and then everyone can explore and have fun!

Lets support local Shakespeare and have fun in the process!

The Shakespeare Factory Presents: Shakespeare’s Baltimore Birthday Bash!

The Shakespeare Factory (One of my personal local favs)  are a growing professional Shakespeare company of Shakespeare enthusiasts who understand how fun Shakespeare can be! I can attest to this after witnessing, and completely enjoying, their productions of “The Winter’s Tale” and “Comedy of Errors”.

Well’ it seems this Saturday, April 23rd they’re putting on a FREE Community Festival. There will be “Games, crafts, performances, and lots more fun for all ages!” So here is your chance to check out some Shakespeare with a local flavor, and meet others who are just as fond of the Bard as you are.

I’ll also post this on MEETUP.COM group “DC-area Shakespeare explorers so we can all say HI if anyones interested

1-5PM at Sumpter Park located on the corner of Robert St. and Linden Ave in Baltimore.

Link to The Shakespeare Factory for Details

Link to Google Maps

Link to the MEETUP.COM group: DC-area Shakespeare explorers

DC-area Shakespeare explorers

DC-area Shakespeare explorers

1993 – 2011: The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival Closes it’s Doors – Who’s Next

One year ago you could have enjoyed Shakespeare’s birthday by seeing Hamlet performed by the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. I’m sorry to say that this will no longer be possible, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival has closed it doors for good. “It was strictly a financial decision,” Peter Toran, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival Board president said. Started in 1993, they had worked hard to bring professional levels of Shakespeare to the Washington DC area. Last winter, Richard III came and went. And with that, they are gone forever.

Unfortunately I don’t think this will be the last Shakespeare Festival to close. County and State budgets are tight, and donations are drying up. I’ve heard these issues from more then one place. But when the economy goes south it seems the first be affected when the axe falls, is the Arts.

Factorys winters tale - Leontes (Ian Rogers) and Hermione (Bess Kaye)

Factorys The Winters Tale - Leontes (Ian Rogers) and Hermione (Bess Kaye)

BUT! We don’t have to let that happen to another Company! Do something, no matter how small it is. Adopt a local Shakespeare company, there are still some around. Take a look at the Maryland Shakespeare Festival in Frederick Maryland, a Company who’s plays I rarely miss. Or how about The Shakespeare Factory in Baltimore, ever heard of them? A group of professional and semi-professional actors who put on wonderfully fun Shakespearean plays in Maryland, just north of Washington DC. I watched them do “The Winter’s Tale” just last month, and “a Comedy of Errors” last year, and they both left me smiling ear to ear.

As a side note since I just used the Shakespeare Factory and the Maryland Shakespeare Festival as examples. Last weekend I saw the MSF put on a production of “As You Like It”, and in the audience was Bess Kaye of the Shakespeare Factory. I had just seen her last month in the Factory’s version of “The Winter’s Tale” as Hermione. Now I am just one that never approaches actors. I’m a musician, I’ve play and sang for 30 years, it’s just something I don’t do. But I’d just heard about the Baltimore Shakespeare Festivals demise, and I guess I was feeling a little melancholy about it. So I went up and told Bess how amazingly wonderful I thought she was as Hermione, and how much I enjoyed the Factory Players version of “The Winter’s Tale”. And I told her I remembered her in “The Comedy of Errors” from last year, and… Well’ I just thanked her.

She took my hands and gave me a hug.

Shakespeare makes our lives that more richer. Don’t take local Shakespeare  for granted.

Links for those mentioned:

The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival

Maryland Shakespeare Festival

The Shakespeare Factory

See the links section for more Company’s.

FREE: Sunday April 17th: A Shakespeare Meetup for the Bards Birthday

Looks like another year has come and gone, and with that Shakespeare gets another year older. To celebrate the Bards birthday the Folgers Shakespeare Library in Washington dc is holding an open house with tours, exhibits, and a cake cutting. Music, dance, and crafts!

To make this a little more interesting, there’s a new group of Shakespeare lovers who have started a MEETUP.COM group called the “DC-area Shakespeare explorers” whose intent is to create a place where local Shakespeare enthusiast can meetup  for events,  discussions,  and anything else that sounds fun. They’ll be having their first meetup at the Folgers for Shakespeare’s birthday party, and they would like to invite you to come and join in the festivities! This group is in the beginning phases, so please show up and give it as much support as you can.

04/13- Update for time and location. Theresa the organizer just posted:
“The Open House starts at noon and goes until 4pm. Let’s meet by the front door at 1pm, to decide when we’d like to head out to find a place to sit down and talk about what we’d like to do with the group. I’ll have a Meetup sign so you can find me!

Links:
DC-area Shakespeare explorer
Folgers Library Birthday Event in Washington DC

Maryland Shakespeare Festivals “As You Like It”

Well’ just got back from another Bare Bard from the Maryland Shakespeare festival,  and once again they showed that professional theater is alive and well in Frederick, (As long as they are funded and supported by people like us I should say). The first time I saw them was in 2008 doing the “Merry Wives of Windsor”, and now here we are, thirteen plays later (Yes I’ve seen 13 fully acted, separate plays since 2008 performed by MSF, having  missed only a couple) and I just had the good fortune to see them perform “As You Like It”. What can I say that I haven’t said before? Their energy was boundless. The presentation was energetic and full of fun. And the actors were at the top of their game.

“As You Like It” is a funny play no matter how you slice it, but the way the actors pulled the audience in made it all that more enjoyable. For at this Bare Bard the audience was not allowed to be mere spectators, but were drawn in to be participants, either as cannon fodder on stage for a pun, or getting handed a script and a hat and asked to perform… I have seen some very formal, and should I use the word “Uptight” versions of the Bards comedies, and in no way could this version ever be considered “Uptight”. Especially after seeing a man in tights, that were’ Ummm, well… to tight… sing the venerated and sanctified words of our beloved Bard to the tunes of “I Will Survive”, and Ricky Martins “Living La Vida Loca”.

Most importantly the Maryland Shakespeare Festival reminds us that Shakespeare is meant to be fun. And if I have not said it before, I would like to thank each and every person involved in these productions, for all their hard work and dedication.

Please visit the Maryland Shakespeare Festival at http://MDShakes.com. Your support will help keep Shakespeare alive in our area!

April 11-17: Willpower! Montgomery College’s week long festival

Willpower! Montgomery College’s week long Shakespeare  festival with free events, lectures, and demonstrations. I went to several of the events last year, which ultimately culminated into the American Shakespeare Center performance of “A Comedy of Errors”, and really enjoyed myself. So’ if you have the time, I can personally recommend checking it out.

Here are the details that were posted in our comment section just yesterday:

Greetings fellow Shakespeare lovers!

We’d like to invite you to attend WILLPOWER! – Montgomery College’s weeklong festival of performances, lectures, workshops, and master classes that celebrate the world of William Shakespeare. This year’s festival runs from April 11-17, 2011.

Our festival centers around our college performing arts series production of…

THE TEMPEST
Wednesday-Saturday, April 11-16, 8pm
Sunday April 17, 2pm
(run time – approximately 2 ½ hrs)
Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center
Montgomery College, Rockville Campus

Other featured events include:

Adrian Webber Memorial Lecture
“‘Oh Brave New World’:
Medicine, Magic, and Gender in Shakespeare’s England”
Dr. Stephen Greenberg, NIH, National Library of Medicine, Historian of Science
Wednesday, April 13th
1:00 – 1:50 p.m. TA Arena, Rockville Campus

“From Ghosts and Witches to Mathematics and Mechanism: The Nature of Science
and How It Has Changed Our World View since Shakespeare’s Time”
— Dr. Emmett Holman, George Mason University
Monday, April 11th
2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. TA Arena, Rockville Campus

“Solemn and Strange Music:
Discovering the Sounds of ‘The Tempest’” (workshop)
Mr. James Jacobs, WGBH 99.5, Boston
Tuesday, April 12th
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. TA Arena, Rockville Campus

See http://montgomerycollege.edu/willpower for the full schedule of events.

Except for performances of THE TEMPEST, all lectures and workshops are free to the public.

For more infomation, call KenYatta Rogers at 240-567-4001

April 9th and 10th: Maryland Shakespeare Festival Bare Bard of “As You Like It” This weekend

I’ve been lax on updating the calendar, but with the Spring season kicking off I am starting to get really excited. One reason for this excitement is the Maryland Shakespeare Festivals last Bare Bard of the season,  where they will be performing a play I haven’t seen yet, “As You Like It”.

Now if you haven’t seen a Bare Bard, give this one a chance. A Bare Bard is where the actors come from around the county with their lines memorized, meet up on Friday, and in 24 hours put on a full production. I’ve seen to many Bare Bards to count and REALLY enjoyed them all. It’s like seeing Shakespeare on a high wire without a net. There’s no sleepwalking these lines, they are freshly learned and the energy is raw. It’s fast,  loose, and a lot of fun!

April 9th at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 10th at 2 p.m. Sundays performance will include a talk back with the actors.

The Bare Bard performance space is located at All Saints Episcopal Church.

All Saints Episcopal Church
21 North Court Street
Frederick, MD 21701

See website for details

Links: http://mdshakes.com

 

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